Great Britain is standing head and shoulders above all others in today’s heavyweight division. IBF and WBA “super” champion Anthony Joshua came of age in his thrilling eleventh round win over Hall of Fame bound Wladimir Klitschko, whilst lineal champion Tyson Fury remains the man who beat the man, despite recent inactivity. Bubbling below them, and vying for their own title opportunities, are Dillian Whyte, Dereck Chisora and Tony Bellew, who gatecrashed the party after his upset win over David Haye. Blatantly shaking off the reputation of “the horizontal heavyweights” of the 20th century, all eyes are now looking towards the big men of British boxing. This includes the talent of the future, the ones who can potentially keep the conveyor belt going and maintain this tremendous run of power in boxing’s golden division. With the much anticipated debut of Olympic super-heavyweight silver medalist Joe Joyce yet to happen, attention has turned to another young, heavy-handed knockout artist who seems to be capturing the public’s attention. Step forward Mr. Daniel Dubois.
Just 19 years of age, Dubois is already displaying the potential that may earmark him as a future champion. Standing an impressively proportioned 6 feet 4 1/2 inches tall and the owner of a 78 inch reach, Dubois has blitzed his opening three opponents in a total of four rounds. Marcus Kelly was dispatched in just 35 seconds in his professional debut, whilst Blaise Mendouo was rescued in round two. David Howe was flattened in just 40 seconds in Dubois lastest outing, as question marks surface as to who can extend this extremely hard punching youngster a few rounds and aid his in-ring education.
Born in Paddington on 6 July 1997, Dubois was raised in Greenwich in south London. He started following his dad to The Peacock gym when he was just 8 years old, and displayed a natural affinity for the sport. His journey took him through some of London’s most established amateur clubs, namely Repton, Dale Youth and Fisher, before he ended up at Islington. Along the way, he amassed two English schoolboy titles and two Junior ABA Championships, before winning the British Seniors title. He was selected to join the GB Elite set-up in Sheffield, and during his time there, he boxed twice in the European Youth Championships and twice won gold at the multi-nations. But even though he was showing massive potential, and would certainly have picked up a medal in any of the forthcoming Commonwealth, European or World championships, Dubois felt that teammate Frazer Clarke was ahead of him at that time, and that he didn’t want to take the chance that he may not have been chosen to enter the 2020 Olympics. But that wasn’t the only reason for him deciding to leave his vest behind. One of his idols is Mike Tyson, and as well as watching and learning from “Iron Mike” as he blasted his way through a succession of heavyweight contenders throughout his career, Dubois also wanted to emulate the former two-time heavyweight champion as such, by becoming the youngest ever British born World heavyweight champion. So he waved goodbye to the amateur game, finishing with, from his recollection, a 69-6 record. Impressive stats indeed.
Having spoken to various promoters, including Matchroom and Cyclone, Dubois opted to join Frank Warren’s stable. He was more than happy with the way that Warren had taken many a fighter from scratch all the way to a world title and felt that he was the right man to plot his journey. Martin Bowers, Dubois coach from The Peacock, was added as manager and trainer, a choice that Dubois made with 100% trust and confidence. His dad completes the team, overseeing the conditioning work his son puts in.
But it is not just the media that is acknowledging just what this youngster may have to offer. Sparring sessions against Joshua and Fury have led to glowing reports. Fury reiterated that Dubois may well be the future of the division, whilst reports, unconfimed but undenied by both, state that he hurt and dropped the reigning champion, although this was before AJ was at the level he is now. Nevertheless, publicity of this kind can only add to the growing mystique of any young fighter.
Although it is still very early in his career, Dubois has exhibited much promise already. He owns a very stern, well-educated jab and a good understanding of range and footwork. His other idols are Lennox Lewis and Larry Holmes, and studying such exemplary fighters can only aid a young prospect. The concussive power is obvious to see, both hands appear to be loaded with dynamite. But it is also wise to acknowledge his weaknesses. At this early stage, question marks on his stamina and punch resistance are obvious. Anyone in that division is more than capable of sending “the next big thing” in to “Palookaville”. In his fight with Mendouo, Dubois was caught with the overhand right over his low-hanging left, a schoolboy error, but one that future opponents will grab on to as they look to boost their own pay packets and reputations.
No prospect in boxing is guaranteed success. Many start off compiling records by blowing away one fighter after another, looking a million dollars, until they are caught out and undone by one who manages to absorb all that is coming their way. Others are distracted by outside of the ring attention that their in-ring persona has projected, a celebrity before they have achieved anything, a common occurrence in today’s society. But a chosen few, through talent, dedication and a strong, supportive team, make it through, emerging at the top of their game as champion. Can Daniel Dubois add his name to that list? Only time will tell. But one thing is for sure; he is certainly ticking all the right boxes.